As tensions ease with Iran, the Biden administration is set to put U.S. forces on a more normal level, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Biden administration is withdrawing Patriot anti-missile batteries from four Middle Eastern countries as the United States reduces its military footprint in the region amid a reduction in tensions with Iran, an American magazine said Friday.
The Pentagon pulls about eight Patriot anti-missile batteries from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as a Saudi High Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system that had been deployed by the Trump administration previously, the Wall Street Journal reported citing unnamed U.S. officials.
The redistribution includes hundreds of U.S. troops operating the systems and began earlier this month following a June 2 phone call in which U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reported the turn to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the Journal.
The retrieval of anti-missile batteries marks a return to a more normal level of defense in the region where the United States continues to retain tens of thousands of troops even as they reduce their deployed forces. Afghanistan and Iraq, the Journal said.
“We still have our bases in the countries of our Gulf partners, they don’t stop there, there is always a substantial presence, a substantial position in the region,” a senior defense official told a newspaper.
I SU deployed Patriotic anti-missile batteries and troops in Saudi Arabia after Iranian drone strikes hit Saudi oil plants and Iraq in 2020 after a mass attack of missiles and raids on American forces by Iran and militias backed by Iran.
The U.S. military has acknowledged that more than 109 American troops had suffered concussions and other brain injuries in an Iranian ballistic missile attack on the Ain al-Assad military base in Iraq following the American air strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
President Joe Biden, who took over from former President Donald Trump in January, has sought to reduce tensions in the Middle East and U.S. diplomats have been engaged in indirect negotiations with Iran to revive the nuclear deal. Iranian.
American and Iranian diplomats engaged in a sixth round of negotiations in Vienna earlier this month, as Iran plans to reunite with the 2015 agreement that prohibits it from using nuclear weapons in exchange for relief from punishing U.S. economic sanctions.
Trump had unilaterally withdrawn from Iran’s nuclear deal and instituted a “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran that Biden officials said had failed to achieve targets and had the effect of accelerating Iran’s nuclear development.
The Iranians were voting Friday for a new president to replace outgoing President Hassan Rouhani who had defended the nuclear deal with the United States in 2015.